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Situational analysis of lymphatic filariasis morbidity in Ahanta West District of Ghana.

Stanton, Michelle ORCID:, Best, Abigail, Cliffe, Matthew, Kelly-Hope, Louise ORCID:, Biritwum, Nana-Kwadwo, Batsa, Linda and Debrah, Alex (2016) 'Situational analysis of lymphatic filariasis morbidity in Ahanta West District of Ghana.'. Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol 21, Issue 2, pp. 236-44.

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Situational analysis of lymphatic filariasis (LF) morbidity and its management in Ahanta West, Ghana, to identify potential barrier to healthcare for LF patients.


Lymphoedema and hydrocoele patients were identified by community health workers from a subset of villages, and were interviewed and participated in focus group discussions to determine their attitudes and practices towards managing their morbidity, and their perceived barriers to accessing care. Local health professionals were also interviewed to obtain their views on the availability of morbidity management services in the district.


Sixty-two patients (34 lymphoedema and 28 hydrocoeles) and 13 local health professionals were included in the study. Lymphoedema patients predominantly self-managed their conditions, which included washing with soap and water (61.8%), and exercising the affected area (52.9%). Almost 65% of patients had sought medical assistance at some stage, but support was generally limited to receiving tablets (91%). Local health professionals reported rarely seeing lymphoedema patients, citing stigma and lack of provisions to assist patients as a reason for this. Almost half of hydrocoele patients (44%) chose not to seek medical assistance despite the negative impact it had on their lives. Whilst surgery itself is free with national health insurance, 63% those who had not sought treatment stated that indirect costs of surgery (travel costs, loss of earnings, etc.) were the most prohibitive factor to seeking treatment.


The information obtained from this study should now be used to guide future morbidity strategies in building a stronger relationship between the local health services and LF patients, to ultimately improve patients' physical, psychological and economic wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lymphatic filariasis; morbidity management; Ghana; access; barriers filariose lymphatique; prise en charge de la morbidité; Ghana; accès; barrières filariosis linfática, manejo de morbilidad; Ghana; acceso; barreras
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 21.5 Allied health personnel. Allied health professions
W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 84 Health services. Delivery of health care
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 950 Theory or methods of medical statistics. Epidemiologic methods
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 10:55


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